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Author Corey Recko
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Pinkerton's National Detective Agency History Sources

I consider the below list to be a good starting point for anyone wishing to read about or research the history of Pinkerton's National Detective Agency or Allen Pinkerton.


Axelrod, Alan, The War Between the Spies: A History of Espionage During the American Civil
War.  New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1992.

Cuthbert, Norma B. (ed.), Lincoln and the Baltimore Plot, 1861: From Pinkerton Records and
Related Papers.  San Marino, CA: The Huntington Library, 1949.

Fishel, Edwin C., The Secret War for the Union: The Untold Story of Military Intelligence in the
Civil War.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1996.

Horan, James D., The Pinkertons: The Detective Dynasty That Made History.  New York: Crown
Publishers, 1967.

MacKay, James, Allan Pinkerton: The First Private Eye.  Edison, NJ: Castle Books, 2007.

Markle, Donald E., Spies and Spymasters of the Civil War.  New York: Hippocrene Books, 1994.

Morn, Frank, The Eye That Never Sleeps: A History of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982.

Mortimer, Gavin, Double Death: The True Story of Pryce Lewis, The Civil War’s Most Daring Spy.  New York: Walker & Company, 2010.

Pinkerton, Allan, Bank-Robbers and the Detectives.  G. W. Carleton & Co., Publishers, 1883. 

——, Bucholz and the Detectives. New York: Dillingham Co., Publishers, 1880.

——, The Burglar's Fate and the Detectives.  G. W. Carleton & Co., Publishers, 1884.

——, Claude Melnotte as a Detective, and Other Stories.  New York: Dillingham
Co., Publishers, 1875.

——, Criminal Reminiscences and Detective Sketches.  New York, G. W. Dillingham
Co. Publishers, 1878.

——, A Double Life and the Detectives.  Dillingham Co., Publishers, 1884.

——, The Expressman and the Detective.  Chicago: W.B. Keen, Cooke, 1874.

——, The Gypsies and the Detectives.  G. W. Carleton & Co., Publishers, 1879.

——, History and Evidence of the Passage of Abraham Lincoln from Harrisburg,
Pa., to Washington, D.C., on the Twenty-Second and Twenty-Third of February, Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-One.  New York: Rode and Brand, 1907.

——, Mississippi Outlaws and the Detectives. G.W. Dillingham Co. Publishers, 1879.

——, The Model Town and the Detectives: Bryon as a Detective.  G. W. Carleton & Co., Publishers, 1876. 

——, The Molly Maguires and the Detectives. G. W. Carleton & Co., Publishers, 1877.

——, Professional Thieves and the Detectives.  G.W. Dillingham Co. Publishers, 1880.

——, The Rail-Road Forger and the Detectives.  G. W. Carleton & Co., Publishers, 1881.

——, The Somnambulist and the Detective: The Murderer and the Fortune Teller.  New York: G.W. Dillingham Co. Publishers, 1875.

——, The Spiritualists and the Detectives. G. W. Carleton & Co., Publishers, 1877.

——, The Spy of the Rebellion.  New York: G. W. Carleton & Co., Publishers, 1883.

——, Strikers, Communists, Tramps and Detectives.  G. W. Carleton & Co., Publishers, 1878.

——, Thirty Years a Detective.  G. W. Carleton & Co., Publishers, 1884.
Most of the following links are to first editions:

Pinkerton, William A. and Robert A. Pinkerton, Timothy Webster: Spy of the Rebellion. 
Chicago: Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency, 1906.

Rowan, Richard Wilmer, The Pinkertons: A Detective Dynasty.  Boston: Little, Brown, and
Company, 1931.


Fishel, Edwin C., “Pinkerton and McClellan: Who Deceived Whom?” Civil War History, no.
2 (June 1988).

“Pinkerton National Detective Agency,” http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/2813.html.

Unpublished Documents

Allan Pinkerton Letters to Joseph Beale, 1882-83, Author’s Collection.

Allan Pinkerton Papers, Chicago Historical Society, Chicago, Illinois.

Herndon-Weik Collection of Lincolniana, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California. 
Lewis, Pryce, and David E. Cronin, Memoirs of Pryce Lewis as Told to Major David E. Cronin
in 1888, Pryce Lewis Collection, St. Lawrence University Archives, Owen D. Young Library.

Record’s of Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.


A. G. Becker, Incorporated, History of, http://www.agbecker.us/RKSwift.php